Sunday, February 5, 2023

Options to Consider When Employee Rescinds a Resignation

Our employee gave notice yesterday that he is quitting effective two weeks from now. Today, he indicated he wants to stay after all, but we want him to continue with his resignation. What are our options?

When an employee attempts to “rescind a resignation,” the employer is not required to accept said rescission. Indeed, if this is a less-than-stellar employee, the employer may be happy to have the individual resign.

Get It in Writing

An issue can come up when a resignation is verbal, and then the employee rescinds it.

For this reason, it is best to have employees put their resignation in writing. Even an email is sufficient to prove the resignation happened, in the event the employee contends he/she never really resigned.

If the employee does not put the resignation in writing, it’s advisable for the employer to accept the resignation immediately and in writing to acknowledge and confirm that the employer is acting on the wishes of the employee.

Indeed, the employer should start a search for a new employee to show that the employer has acted on the resignation notice. Starting the search usually helps with the employee contending that he/she did not put the resignation in writing and establishes that the employer relied on notice from the employee.

Other Scenarios

Another scenario that occurs around resignations is when an employee gives a lengthy resignation notice, and the employer prefers to cut ties immediately.

If an employee provides 30 days’ notice and the employer decides today is the last day, the resignation becomes a termination and the individual is eligible for unemployment benefits.

Alternatively, if an employee gives notice and the employer decides today is the last day, but the employer pays the person through the notice period, then the resignation stays a resignation.

When paying an employee his/her final paycheck, be it resignation or termination, do not mail that check unless the employee directs you to do so in writing.


Column based on questions asked by callers on the Labor Law Helpline, a service to California Chamber of Commerce preferred and executive members. For expert explanations of labor laws and Cal/OSHA regulations, not legal counsel for specific situations, call (800) 348-2262 or submit your question at www.hrcalifornia.com.

Staff Contact: Dana Leisinger

Dana Leisinger
Dana Leisinger
Dana Leisinger joined the CalChamber in 2000 and currently serves as an HR adviser. She has advised employers on matters such as employment law, wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment and wage and hour issues. She also has conducted seminars and training and guided employers through various levels of governmental investigations. Leisinger holds a J.D. from the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific.

Related Articles

Final Paycheck: Employee Pickup or Mail? Answers to FAQs

If an employee quits without giving any notice, I believe I have a window of time to prepare a final paycheck. Does the employee have to come pick it up or should I mail...

Latest Issues Employers Are Asking About on Labor Law Helpline

In Episode 157 of The Workplace podcast, CalChamber employment law expert Matthew Roberts and CalChamber HR Adviser Ellen Savage discuss the issues employers are asking about most often on the CalChamber Labor Law Helpline,...

Unlawful to Deduct an Outstanding Loan from Employee’s Final Pay

What can an employer do when an employee leaves a company but has an outstanding loan owed to the company? Can the amount of the outstanding loan be taken out of the employee’s final...